CROW AGENCY – Journalist Luella Brien has started her own digital news outlet that covers the Crow Indian Reservation and surrounding areas after 20 years of reporting for print media.
“I just decided on a whim to start it because I really got tired of seeing in mainstream media, like, stories of powwows and dead Indians,” Brien said.
Four Points Press is operated by a larger, non-profit media company called Four Points Media, Inc. In part, the About Us page on FourPointsPress.com reads:
“The mission of Four Points Media, Inc. is to work independently and in collaboration with the community to enrich the minds, spirits and lives of those in Indian Country by producing meaningful stories through the production of timely published and audio works, through the news website Four Points Press, Four Points Productions, and Four Points Publishing House.”
Brien felt her work through area newspapers didn’t have a big enough impact on the way tribal members are portrayed in the media.
“When I had kids, I really started thinking about that representation and how it limited them, and so over the last 15 years or so, this has been boiling in my head. And it was like now or never,” she said.
An enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, Brien lives on the Crow Indian Reservation. She said she feels it gives her some advantage. “But I don’t feel it gives me the monopoly at all,” she said.
Launched at the start of November, Brien is operating Four Points Press alone, writing all articles, and working as editor-in-chief.
“I think that part of the mission of Four Points Press is, once I start hiring, is to give my reporters that competency to report on indigenous stories regardless of their background, because I’ve seen it done before,” Brien said.
News coverage has included the Crow Tribal legislative election.
“One of the big stories that had the most clicks was, one of the candidates for the Reno District had the same name as a guy who was in district court in Billings, his name is Cody Minks, and there was a guy facing some charges named Cody Minks and it got a little confusing during election time and people were using it against him. So we had a story called ‘Cody Minks vs. Cody Minks: Will the real Cody Minks please stand up?’ and that got a lot of traffic,” Brien said.
Brien shared Four Points Media, Inc. is preparing for its December donation drive. All donations are tax-deductible.